Google Chat transition FAQ

As an administrator, you can quickly migrate your organization from classic Hangouts to Google Chat using the Chat Preferred setting. 

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Why is Google Workspace moving to Chat?

We're excited to transition Google Workspace users to Chat. Now every organization can benefit from our newest enterprise-grade team collaboration tool. Chat makes it easy for teams to get work done efficiently in one place. Along with 1:1 direct messaging and group messaging, Chat supports virtual rooms to help teams collaborate on projects in one place. Teams can share files from Drive, join online meetings with Meet, and add bots to pull other tools or workflows into the conversation.

What does the Chat Preferred setting do?
In our experience, organizations are most successful when they can streamline their communications and move all users to Chat at the same time. Administrators can select the Chat Preferred setting in the Admin console to migrate all users to Chat.

If you turn on Chat Preferred:
  • Google Chat replaces classic Hangouts in Gmail.
    Users who previously turned off chat in Gmail won't see a change.
  • Classic Hangouts mobile apps will stop working and users will be redirected to open or download the Gmail apps for iOS and Android.
  • The classic Hangouts Chrome Extension and App will stop working and users will be redirected to open or download the new standalone Chat app.
  • The classic Hangouts web experience (hangouts.google.com) will still be available to help ease the migration.
  • All previous chat history will still be accessible from both Gmail and hangouts.google.com, per the Vault retention policy set for your organization.
  • Users can join ad-hoc online meetings through Meet.

Before you turn on Chat Preferred, we strongly recommend that you review the Deployment Guide. Follow the deployment steps to set up your users for a successful transition to Google Chat.

Note: when you turn on Chat Preferred, the Chat label at the left for viewing your previous chat conversations from classic Hangouts will no longer be available. You can search for your archived conversations by going to the Gmail search box and adding in:chat to your search.

What new features do my users get?

In addition to the new Google Chat standalone app and web experience, users get:

  • New Gmail integration—An updated Gmail experience with all the latest Chat features such as team rooms, bots, and file sharing. Learn more
  • Classic Hangouts bot—This bot helps smooth the migration experience by notifying users of unread group conversations in classic Hangouts. Learn more
What are some limitations and known issues I should be aware of?

Google Chat still has some known limitations, including:

  • Phone calls and text messages using Google Voice are not currently available in Chat. Users can get these features by using Google Voice at voice.google.comor by downloading the Google Voice mobile app (Android, iOS).
  • Some direct message history from classic Hangouts will appear in Chat, but group messages from classic Hangouts (including their history) are not migrated to Chat. Users can still find these group conversations at hangouts.google.com.
  • New group messages and rooms started in Google Chat can't send messages to users who are still on classic Hangouts, and the other way around.
  • Organizations that don't turn on Chat can't be reached through Chat. Users can only message external users who have Chat turned on in their organization. For these external chats, people can still use hangouts.google.com. The classic Hangouts bot will notify users in Google Chat of any missed messages.
  • Chat rooms are limited to 8000 members.

To learn more, review the full list of known limitations.

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